The last five seasons Aston Villa have been involved in relegation battles. At times in those seasons, some supporters thought it was curtains, but each time the team found a way to bail themselves out of the mire.
This has perhaps created a little complacency in some quarters, but at least the Villa captain has publicly stated (the obvious) that the danger is ever so real in the below short interview with Sky Sports, where he essentially states it would be naive to think that a big club like Villa won’t drop when it comes to the end of the season.
Why Villa Survived Before
The main reason for the salvation in the last three seasons has been the goals of Christian Benteke, while under Houllier, it was the January purchase of Darren Bent and his goals that saved the day.
Villa at the moment though, don’t have that top-notch quality that can make the difference and be a match winner. Just look at the game yesterday, Southampton had three chances on target and put two away (Villa had seven on target); that’s the difference of having a Pellè over Gestede or Gabby.
Villa need inspiration on the field quick. I’ve been critical of Micah Richards in the past for his positioning and losing his man on occasions that have led to the team conceding goals. At the same time though, judging by the Swansea game he does have fire in his belly and can lead by example.
He’ll certainly benefit from the return of Clark and Okore to the fold too, hopefully Villa can lock-down a proper back-line. Personally, as I’ve said before, I’d go with Richards, Okore, Clark & Amavi. It makes Villa more solid at the back and the site of Adama Traore (if he ever plays again!) and Richards coming down the right-flank will give teams nightmares.
As we stand, Aston Villa are relegated. But there is a long way to go yet. As Richards said in his Tweet after Sherwood’s sacking, “As players we also have to take responsibility’. It’s true, as individual errors and lapses have seriously let the club down on top of Sherwood’s tactical errors.
That player responsibility needs to go up a notch on Monday against Spurs, where they’re going to have to make sure they leave nothing on the field to get a point or three at White Hart Lane. UTV